Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.


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Cherrybrook, in the parish of South Colah, lies in the upper catchment of Berowra Creek. The original inhabitants of the area are the Dharug people.

Cherrybrook is the newest of Hornsby Shire’s suburbs, created out of the area known as West Pennant Hills. A picturesque area, it forms part of the Hills District, with gently undulating land and an abundance of trees, parks and reserves.

It was named after Joseph and Mary Ann Harrison’s 65-acre (26-hectare) orchard on New Line and Cherrybrook roads, West Pennant Hills.

Castle Hill Government Farm included what is now the suburb of Cherrybrook. Most of the first land grants in the area were given to emancipated convicts from the government farm between 1818 and 1819.

The original European settlers were mostly Wesleyans or Methodists. In 1845, they built a Wesleyan chapel and established a burial ground on New Line Road. The chapel is now the Cherrybrook Uniting Church Hall, and is one of the few reminders of the past of Cherrybrook and West Pennant Hills.

Timber-cutting was the first industry in the area, and after the land was cleared of trees and scrub, orchards were established in the 1850s. In 1915, all but one of the ratepayers in the Cherrybrook area were listed as orchardists. After World War I, poultry was farmed in conjunction with the orchards. In the 1940s however, the orchards were broken up and sold to migrant gardeners and returned soldiers.

The Sydney Region Outline Plan, released in 1968, called for new urban developments in the area west of the Elouera Natural Bushland Reserve. Land in what is now Cherrybrook was set aside in 1975. The first land was released in 1978, and within 10 years 2,400 houses had been built. [1] LJ Hooker was the developer for the first stage of the subdivision, and named it the Greenway Estate after the colonial architect Francis Greenway. He and other early colonial architects were commemorated in the first street names.

The next theme for street names was shrubs and trees, both native and exotic, while names of pioneers of the district were used in the Edward Bennett Drive area. Several short streets were put in where the Benedictine Abbey stood on large grounds in Franklin Road, all with names derived from the abbey.

Cherrybrook Village, a small neighbourhood shopping centre, provides shoppers with their day-to-day needs.


Guy McKanna, 'Cherrybrook Estate Second Stage Development Proposal – Heritage Assessment', the author, NSW, 1984


[1] Ken Anderson, Sydney's suburbs: how and why they were named, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst NSW, 1989